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Rabbit fur hat fit for a duchess by F Kerr

THE KATE: Pirongia hat maker Monika Neuhauser has created a headpiece to commemorate the royal visit.

Jackie-O had the Pill Box hat, former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi sported the checheya hat and now a Pirongia hat maker is creating a new sensation she calls "The Kate".

The Kate is a peacock blue, button hat created as a commemorative piece for the royal visit, named after the Duchess of Cambridge.

Monika Neuhauser, who owns Monika Neuhauser Miller, a business that creates ready to wear and custom made hats and headpieces, said her creation was fitting for a princess.

"Once the shape came, that's when it all fell into place," she said.

"I thought that it would look nice on the duchess."

Neuhauser put her creation online and received 30 likes, with her Facebook fans encouraging her to give the hat to Kate.

"I'm considering sending it to her, I think I've left it a bit too late for her to wear in New Zealand."

The Kate is made from rabbit fur felt, then steamed into place.

The type of hat, which is inspired by a button, is held in place with an elastic band and is a popular choice of head wear at cocktail parties.

The passionate hat maker, who has worked in the industry for eight years, knows that her small boutique business could change overnight if the princess is snapped wearing "The Kate".

"I've seen it with other fashion designers as soon as someone famous wears their clothes they become very popular," she said. "If Kate wore the hat, anything could happen."

Meanwhile, Cambridge high-end fashion shop Maddisons owner Kay Kirkbridge said business had been good since the royal arrival, with their red winter coats walking out the door.

"We have seen sales increase for our New Zealand label - Fredrick, quality, fully-lined red winter coats, similar to Kate's." Kate wore a double-breasted red Catherine Walker dress and coat, with matching Gina Foster pillbox hat, arriving in Wellington on Monday.

Hamiltonians only have a few days left to prepare their wardrobes as the Duke and Duchess arrive in the city this Saturday.

Thank you to Stuff.co.nz, click here.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Victoria Beckham and Sarah Jessica Parker, faithful followers of Irish designer Reach Madrid Philip Treacy headdresses, preferred by celebrities

Designs with lots of art

Philip Treacy is undoubtedly the designer played with internationally acclaimed.

The women of the royal family and the most famous British it girl are true to their creations; among its fans are Kate Middleton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham and Paris Hilton.

Born in Ireland in a very large family, from small Philip Treacy loved fashion . He studied design in Dublin at the National College of Art and Design and later did a master at the London Royal College of Art, where he met Isabella Blow, famous editor of fashion who commissioned the hit of your wedding and introduced him to Karl Lagerfeld, with which he made ​​some of his collections.

From there his entire career has been rising.

Now we finally get closer to their designs. In the English Court of Serrano can be found in the most exclusive models ideal for our weddings and events will also be filled with glamor and art.

Philip Treacy finally arrives at Madrid Philip Treacy finally arrived in Madrid, Tendencias.-Economics and Business Expansión.com

The exclusive headgear of the prestigious Irish designer are finally available in the center of Serrano El Corte Ingles. Treacy is the favorite of the Queen of England, Kate Middleton or Sarah Jessica Parker.

Organic and unpredictable figures, hats resounding aristocratic ... The designer played with greater international prestige finally arrived in Madrid, for happiness wedding and patriotic events. Specifically Serrano center El Corte Ingles, where her designs can be purchased exclusively. Daphne Guinness with Philip Treacy for Vogue Treacy, began designing dolls for her sister, has dressed the most famous heads of monarchies around the world, ladies of the aristocracy and celebrities. Among his regular customers, are Queen Elizabeth II, Kate Middleton, Princess Diana, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Grace Jones, Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham and Lady Gaga. So much so that in 2007 he was awarded the OBE for services to the fashion industry of the country. He has collaborated with other great designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, Armani and Valentino.

Thank you to Expansion, Click Here.


Vicki Car has been running the Australian Ballet’s millinery department for eight years, creating thousands of hats, headpieces and tiaras for all its productions. Manon is one of the most hat-intensive shows in its repertoire and after its Brisbane season opens in Melbourne  tonight (before travelling to Sydney). The ballet requires a lot of felt, brocade and tricorns and is more hat -intensive for the men than the women. Car gives us the low-down on making hats, tells us there are no bald AB dancers, and despite being a milliner who lives in Melbourne, she says has never  been invited to the Melbourne Cup. What gives?

How long have you been a milliner?

I’ve been a milliner for almost 15 years and although l trained at the London College of Fashion, l learnt most of what l know on the job. I remember my old boss at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden saying that a millinery apprenticeship lasted about seven years, which l thought was mad when l first started. Seven years later l realised she meant that it took that long to be comfortable with whatever weirdness was thrown at you. I don’t always now how I’ll make something that may be complicated or unusual, but I’m confident I’ll figure it out.  Now that I’ve finished my apprenticeship.

How did you get into it as a career?

I started as a dresser in theatres around Melbourne, moved to London, found work as a mechanist and eventually worked my way to assistant head of stage at the Savoy Theatre. I was standing at the dock door at three in the morning in the middle of winter unloading a 40-foot truck full of theatre sets, wearing a high-vis coat that someone got off a north shore oil rig. The truck driver had been calling me ‘love’ and ‘princess’ for hours, and then it started to snow. I suddenly had an epiphany that this was a stupid way to earn a living and perhaps it was time to look for a job that was more indoor work and less heavy lifting.

What do you do in the job?

We make all the hats, headdresses, tiaras and jewellery worn by the dancers. We occasionally make shoe bows and we even more occasionally bead tutus. I’m fairly sure I have the best job in town.

How many in your department?

Just me and my trusty assistant Tessie. She is one of the cleverest makers in town and as well as having a large middle ground where our hat making skills cross over, I shoot off on a jewellery/tiara tangent and Tess onto a sculpting prop making tangent. It makes for a happy department as we are constantly amazed by each other’s cleverness.

Are you there for every performance or is hat maintenance done by make up staff?

I am rarely there for performances. At dress rehearsal l go over to the theatre and watch, but by then my work is mostly done and I’ve handed it over to the wardrobe department who run the shows day to day, including all the washing and maintenance.

Is it hard to dance in a hat?

I would imagine l would find it difficult to dance without a hat, but the dancers don’t seem to have too many problems. We have all sorts of tricks to make it easier but sometimes they just have to tough it out and make it work. They are very good at making my hats and headdresses look light, which sometimes they are most definitely not.

What would you tell someone not to do in a hat  – either onstage or off?

Sit on it.

Do you work in tandem with the set and costume designer?

We work very closely with the costume designer. It’s our job to make their vision (and sometimes their squiggles) come to life. Some days that’s easier than others obviously.

Has a dancer ever refused to wear a hat you’ve chosen?

I once had a dancer refuse to try a headpiece on in case l messed up his hair… and no I’m not telling you who it was. Very occasionally a dancer will ‘forget’ but our dancers are not in the slightest bit precious or prima donna -ish.

Do dancers get fussy or difficult about the hat they are asked to wear?

I feel for the dancers sometimes. We ask them to wear all sorts of stuff and they don’t always love it or think they look good in it. But they are consummate professionals and are incredibly respectful of the work we do, as we are of the work they do. It makes for an easy working relationship in most cases because as a costume department we are constantly aware of their needs as dancers. If it’s too heavy, or they can’t lift their arms over their heads without knocking their own hat off their head we need to rethink what we are doing. The bottom line is that the dancer is the one on stage in front of 2000 people and they have enough to worry about without being anxious about their costume. It doesn’t always work that we can give them what they want but we try.

What is the life span of a hat?  Is it longer than a dancer’s?

My lecturer told me that a hat had to look as if it hadn’t been touched by human hands. I’m not sure that’s entirely relevant for theatre, and especially for ballet where things have to be tough. We never know how a show will be received so we make everything to last a nuclear fallout. It looks light and delicate but it’s like armour plating. Some of the costumes we have are 30 years old and still being used, others are ten years old and have been out every year since they were made. That’s a long time in the life of a costume.

Have you ever made a hat for dancers to wear to the Melbourne Cup?

No but l do sometimes make a wedding headdress if one of our dancers is getting married. They wear tiaras all the time so they often want something simple. And they never turn into Bridezilla.

Do you go the Melbourne Cup?

I’ve never been! I worked for a fashion milliner when l first got back from London who said fascinators had been invented so women could be sick in their hat without losing it in the gutter, and then carry on staggering home with their shoes in their hands. I decided then that l wasn’t going unless l was able to go into a marquee. Fingers crossed that this is the year my invitation comes in the post… Although if the invitation does come I’m going to have to put my money where my mouth is and dazzle the world with my spectacular hat rather than passing judgment on everybody else’s. Perhaps l should start now just in case.

What’s your favourite hat in the AB collection?

My favourite piece is not a hat but a tiara. It was designed by our fearless leader and artistic director, David McAllister, for Grand Pas Classique. It’s a very beautiful and VERY sparkly.

How often do you introduce a new hat into the AB collection?

I potentially make hundreds of pieces every year and they are all lovingly packed and stored when the show is over. Sometimes they will live to fight another day, sometimes they will quietly sit in shame, never to be seen again.

Have you had the chance to create something really wild as a hat? Which show was that for?

2013’s production of Cinderella was a bit kooky. We made hats that looked like shoes, planets, stars and moons. When l first saw the designs l had no idea how to make most of it, which was exciting and scary all at the same time. It’s been a while since that’s happened. A few years ago we made a production of Scheherazade designed by Gabriella Tyloseva which was also lots of fun. There were tiny fez hats with pom poms on wires and the girls had hats that looked like hot pink tadpoles. We love those jobs.

What’s the Mount Everest for a milliner?

Mount Everest is different or every milliner l think, depending on your skills. My Mount Everest is always time. Building a big three act ballet can warp time like nothing else l know.

Which AB production poses the biggest challenges for you and why?

The biggest challenges are either not enough time or an inflexible designer. In spite of some fairly errr… interesting timed deadlines we’ve never missed one yet. There’s still time of course.

Where does Manon fit in degrees of difficulty?

Manon was first made 20 years ago – well before my time, but one of the things l love about it is the theatricality of it. None of the hats are particularly challenging to make but define their characters perfectly. It’s what makes costume so critical to the story ballets. They inform a character for both the dancer and the audience in a way that the choreography would struggle to do on its own l think.

What are the particular requirements of Manon hat-wise?

Manon is unusual in that it’s a much bigger hat show for the boys than it is for the girls. Lots of tricorns and guards hats for the big groups of boys in rich, heavy brocades and felts. At the time the numbers made were on the lean side so there is always a lot of stretching and padding to make sure every one gets a hat that fits.

What was the last big change in hat trend for women?

Whatever it was passed by without me noticing. If l had to make fashion hats I’d give up and get a job in a bike shop, or I’d make hats that looked remarkably like the hats l make for theatre which no-one would want to wear. There are some wonderfully talented fashion milliners in Melbourne but l alas, am not one of them.

What’s big in hats now for men?

The boys are doing well at the moment. A lot of them are looking very smart in flat caps and trilbies with small brims. It’s nice to see a man confidently wearing a hat.

Do you ever tell bald dancers to wear a hat? Surely the lights on the skin must be blinding for the audience?

We don’t have any bald dancers. It’s customary for the Prince to have hair, otherwise no one will know he’s the Prince. A bigger challenge is to get the boys with a lot of hair to look bald.

Do you (or your mother or aunts or grandmother) ever wear hats routinely in daily life?

I come from good Croatian peasant stock so we did headscarves in fields. Not overly glamorous, but practical I suppose. My own hats are often practical to keep the cold out or the rain off, and the ones that aren’t get worn until the whole of Melbourne has seen them several times and then l rush another one out at the last possible minute. I’m hopeless without a deadline.

What’s the best hat you’ve ever seen?

That changes all the time depending on what I’ve seen. I’m often most excited by the very theatrical hats or the ones that are made out of unusual materials.

Who’s your favorite hat designer?

I love some of the work William Chambers does with plastic straws and feathers and it’s hard to go past Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones for pushing the boundaries of what women are prepared to put on their heads.

Do you get invited to a lot of hat parties?

No! Are you having one soon? Can l come?

Can a hat make you feel like a new person?

A hat can make you feel like the most glamorous woman in the world, or it can make you feel like you want to fall through the floor with embarrassment. It’s a finer line than most people think.

Thank you to the Daily Review, Click Here.

From Broome to New York Fashion Week

Felicity Brown

For 20 years, Felicity has made plain hats into something a little bit fancy for her friends in outback Australia. This year, her part-time hobby is taking her from Broome to the catwalks of New York City.

Felicity, or Flic as her friends know her, has a giggling effervescent energy. She talks fast, with a wide grin punctuating most of her sentences.

"When you live remotely, you always go the races, but you always work up until the last minute," she explains on a brief break from work.

"My girlfriends never have time to organise their outfits, so I'd help with their hats – adding a feather, tweaking it with some bibs and bobs – and voila! They'd be ready for the social event of the year!"

Felicity Brown is a born and bred country chick. She grew up on a sheep farm in Mudgee, a town in central west NSW, and while she gave city-living a crack as a young adult, the call of the country proved too strong.

"I spent time in far-western NSW before heading north to the outback, which is where I started fiddling with hats, before heading to Broome," she says. "I’m city but I’m country … I’m happy sitting underneath a tree eating ribs, but I’ve also met the Queen!"

After moving back to the relative cosmopolitan of Broome, Flic thought her hat-making days were behind her, but her friends in the bush kept sending her projects.

"I realised there was still a need for millinery in the bush, so I began travelling between stations for little fashion shows, while I wasn’t working on my day job.

"I started consuming books about hat-making, and taught myself all the basic techniques."

Felicity’s creations are colourful and unique, reminiscent of a Broome sunset or a tropical flower exploding in a vivid rainbow.

"I get inspiration wherever I go – there is so much to look at in the West – it’s easy to think of new designs," she says.

Last year, Felicity booked a long overseas holiday after enduring two rapid operations to remove a large melanoma from her right bicep.

"I had a skin check as part of a New Year checklist, and really didn’t think about it," she says. "I certainly didn’t have any symptoms of skin cancer – but the next minute I was having a rather painful operation to have it removed. I wanted to reward myself with a holiday – so booked a month in the US."

As part of her trip, Flic travelled to New York City, which was in the throes of Fashion Week.

"I was desperate to get a ticket, and through pure circumstance, scored one off the hotel concierge to two different shows," she says.

"It was the most amazing event – lights, music, the models – I just kept pinching myself that my dream was coming true!"

Flic was blogging about her experience at the show later when the unthinkable happened: a fashion week organiser contacted her and asked her to step onto the runway herself in 2014.

"I sent the email onto three friends and my mum, asking them to verify that it was real," she says. "And they replied, 'It’s so on sister!' "

From now until September 7, Felicity will be spending every spare minute creating hats and raising money to get to the Big Apple.

"It's unbelievably incredible and awesome," she says. "It’s crazy to think that just a year ago I was begging for a ticket to Fashion Week and now I’ll be taking part!"

Thank you to Australian Women's Weekly for this article, Click Here.

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